Topic: Pictures of Breast Reconstruction

Forum: Breast Reconstruction — Talk with others facing decisions about whether or not to have breast reconstruction, and if so, what type and when.

Posted on: May 19, 2015 02:03PM - edited Mar 29, 2022 04:28PM by moderators

Posted on: May 19, 2015 02:03PM - edited Mar 29, 2022 04:28PM by moderators

moderators wrote:

We thought it might be helpful for members considering different types of reconstruction to see our page from the main Breastcancer.org site: Pictures of Breast Reconstruction

We hope this helps!

--The Mods

To send a PM to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/my/...
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Mar 12, 2018 05:48PM AliceKo wrote:

Not sure how to proceed. Has anyone decided to operate on the unaffected breast and if you could share your experience?

I had a unilateral skin sparing mastectomy june 2017 with immediate tissue expander reconstruction. Exchange in Dec 2017.

The breasts look good in a bra. Without the bra they look bad. the reconstructed side is up, strange shape, ripppling from my chest muscles, developed a sharp looking protrusion, it's the pocket too big or something. of course they told me that to achieve symmetry, it would be best to remove both breasts and that for unilateral mastectomy autologous transplant would produce a better match. I was not sure I could handle that. The PS plan is to do a small implant on the other breast or a benelli lift (doughnut hole), nipple reconstruction and tattoo. I am afraid to lose sensation in the other breast if I operate on it, and I really don't want to do an implant. But I would love to be able to look at myself while showering and looking like it's not perfect and real, but somehow ok, It's not ok right now. Not just, "oh, I accept myself. I like myself in whatever shape or form" and if I thought this way, I would not be in reconstruction. I feel like I need to do it for myself, but I also need to do it with minimum damage.

Dx 2/2017, IDC, Left, Stage IIB, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 6/21/2017 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Surgery 7/17/2019 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Apr 21, 2018 11:29PM lanne2389 wrote:

Hi AliceKo - you might ask Whippetmom on the Breast Reconstruction / Breast Implant Sizing 101 board what she thinks might be the problem with your implant. Fixing that seems the first order of business.

I had a BMX (left was prophylactic) with TEs put in and am deciding now whether to do an implant exchange or DIEP using my existing pockets. I'm leaning toward DIEP. It would be harder in the very short term (2 months) but I think better for me long term (20 years). I've just not had a good experience with TEs.

I don't think you need to REMOVE both breasts to get a decent result but you may need to have a little work done on your non-implant side to get the best result. A good PS should walk your through your choices. You might consider getting a second opinion, especially if your current one is leaving you perplexed

Lanne

Lanne Dx 11/20/2016, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 3/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/3/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 6/14/2017 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Right); Prophylactic mastectomy; Prophylactic mastectomy (Left); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Radiation Therapy 8/8/2017 Whole breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 9/15/2017 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 7/17/2018 Reconstruction (Left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (Right): DIEP flap Dx 3/25/2021, IDC: Medullary, Other, <1, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 1, ER+/PR-, HER2- Targeted Therapy 4/15/2021 Ibrance (palbociclib) Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant)
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Apr 22, 2018 09:49AM Lula73 wrote:

StarlitMomMom- oh, sweetheart, I am so sorry you’re not happy with the results. And his comment leads me to believe that PS either was very new to doing DIEP flap or doesn’t do many of them. It sounds like the scars may have keloided. I’ve said for a while now that you’ve got to see that surgeon’s before & afters and be happy to have those results for yourself (not just happy with them considering you’ve had BC). If no pics, I’m marking them off my list. If not happy with the pics, I’m marking them off my list. You have to figure they’re going to put up their best work in those photos. If their best is your nightmare, keep looking. If they don’t have more than a handful of photo sets for you to view, odds are they don’t do enough flap surgeries. There are several PSs that post their pics online and from what I’ve seen there, I have to wonder why on earth they would ever even post those photos if that’s their best and wonder how many people actually call them for a consult after viewing them. Many don’t understand traveling for recon especially if there’s a surgeon more local that does them..well a situation like yours where you were told one thing but obviously ended up with a minimally experienced surgeon is why. If you ever decide you want to look into revisions, check out the docs in NOLA or Dr Massey in Charleston. These docs do more flap surgeries than anyone else, focus on quality looking/feeling outcomes (not just you look fine in clothes what’s the problem?), and are the ones who are willing and able to successfully correct other PS’s botched jobs.

www.breastcenter.com

www.drmarga.com


-Lula Dx 1/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/14/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 3/3/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 11/1/2017 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 1/3/2018 Femara (letrozole)
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Apr 22, 2018 09:52AM Lula73 wrote:

AliceKO- I know the docs in NOLA recently did a uni recon where the patient wanted the DIEP breast to match her (in her words) “saggy old lady other breast” -she is in her 40’s. And they did it and she’s happy with the result. So no, they don’t have to touch the unaffected breast to make them match, however it takes superior skill to achieve it.

-Lula Dx 1/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/14/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 3/3/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 11/1/2017 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 1/3/2018 Femara (letrozole)
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Apr 22, 2018 03:25PM chicklet wrote:

Received a deip flap reconstruction 2 years ago still having "repair   surgery". going on surgery 5. I do believe this surgery should be geared towards before 40 years old(and I would not like any age to ever get this sickness),but  before 40 years old your body will be able to bounce back better. Your body in your 40 and 50 's is going through a lot of changes ,physically ,physiologically because your body is going through so much at this time in your life.  I truly wish I had just had them taken off and be done with I. I was 52 years old when it was done. My body is going through menopause, the meds they give you drain your hormones also and it is a challenge to get through the weaknesses of your physical body w/o a major surgery in your 40's and 50's. I  had taken a bit more time to figure out and study but you are given such a time limit because no one knows how to properly give you the right info of time as everything is an emergency to get it done right away even though you are DCIS mode. I could have taken a little bit more time and I understand some people can't. The tummy work sucks you right in but it is not what it sounds like. Your stomach below your breasts is so bloated from the rearranging of the digestive system it is so hard to feel comfortable especially when trying to sleep. I have to take sleep meds every nite or I would not sleep.it is so uncomfortable.. The scar tissue in the breasts  ,under your arms and in your tummy area is so uncomfortable and is their for life. If I had to go back again I would have just had them taken off. It is okay to do that. Your breasts don't define you. I am seriously thinking of having them taken off at this time. Not worth  it. if you do decide to do this surgery go very small-it is fat so if you are prone to gain weight it will affect your upper body like no other.

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Apr 22, 2018 04:35PM Lula73 wrote:

chicklet-where did you have your DIEP done? If you had rearranging of your digestive system it sounds like they didn’t do DIEP at all but maybe a TRAM flap. That would also fit with having abdominal wall issues. DIEP is literally the skin and fat that is on top of the abdominal muscles. Muscles should never be cut in a true DIEP. And since they’re staying on top of the muscle and not cutting through it there is no rearranging of digestive system. Im so sorry you’re dealing with this. Perhaps it’s time for a second opinion?

-Lula Dx 1/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/14/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 3/3/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 11/1/2017 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 1/3/2018 Femara (letrozole)
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Apr 22, 2018 06:48PM trishyla wrote:

Actually, chicklet, I have to strongly disagree with you on only offering DIEP flap to younger women. I was 58, an ex-smoker, in decent but not great shape, when I had my bi-lateral mastectomy with immediate Diep flap reconstruction last year. I was walking upright with no problem in less than a week, and I was dancing in high heels at 5 weeks. My plastic surgeon said he had never had a patient heal so quickly. If they had your criteria I would have been forced to have implants or go flat, neither of which are acceptable to me.

As far as the swelling and digestive issues, I would lay odds that you have truncal lymphedema. You need to get to either your oncologist or your primary care doctor and have them refer you to a physical therapist who specializes in lymphedema massage. I have truncal lymphedema and my twice weekly massages keep it from becoming a worse issue than it already is. The relief can be immediate.

I'm sorry you are having so many issues and I hope you get some relief soon.

Trish

Dx 8/30/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/30/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 9/6/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 9/28/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 4/4/2017 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (Right): DIEP flap Chemotherapy 8/5/2017 Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Apr 25, 2018 07:14AM SCGirl50 wrote:

I agree Trishyla. I was 51 when I had my recon. I was back to work in 4 weeks after 3 flaps.

Keep Pounding! Dx 9/13/2016, LCIS/DCIS/ILC/IDC, Both breasts, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/18/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/7/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 3/28/2017 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 6/10/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 10/31/2017 Reconstruction (left): Stacked DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): SGAP flap/hip flap
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Jan 13, 2019 11:41AM crossh wrote:

Hello,

I just wanted to share my experience from bilateral mastectomy with prepectoral (above the muscle) alloderm mesh and tissue expander placements reconstruction in the hopes that is can bring some comfort to those about to do the same. I looked for this myself before the procedure and was unable to find anything.

I had my bilateral mastectomy surgery with prepectoral (above the muscle) alloderm mesh and tissue expander placements on November 9, 2018. Spent the night in the hospital, lots of pain meds so not too bad. Everything went well and was released around noon. I came home Saturday with two drains on each side to collect fluids. These drains needed to be emptied as they filled. These were horribly uncomfortable and I could not wait to get them out.

On the following Tuesday I went in for post op and had two removed. On Friday I returned to have the other two removed. (YAY).

I spent that first week basically on the couch resting. My husband was able to work from home, so I was lucky to have him around for anything needed.I was not in much pain, I would describe it more as discomfort. I was on 5 mg valium (for muscle spasms) and tramadol for a couple days but switched to valium and ibuprofen (as needed) and stayed on this for weeks. I work from home on a computer, so I was able to return to work on Thursday, 6 days after surgery. I could work laying on the couch. If I had to go into the office, I would have had to wait longer, as I was very tired for weeks after the surgery.

Week 2 I visited my plastic surgeon and received my first saline injection. I felt nothing during or after.

Week 3 I had my second injection and started to feel some discomfort as the expanders increased.

Week 4 I had my third and final injection. This was all my skin tissue could hold. At this point I felt like I had baseballs under my skin, uncomfortable, but not painful. I had to wait two weeks for tissue expander to silicone implant replacement.

Week 8, on Thursday January 3, I went in for the replacement surgery. It was a 2-3 hour surgery under general anesthesia. I was not in any serious pain, taking tramadol for a couple days, then ibuprofen for a day. By Sunday I was off all meds except antibiotics. My breasts felt SO much better as the silicone implants are soft and mushy. I was able to return to work on Monday (remember I work from home). I did not need any help, and just needed to take it easy and rest. I did have some stomach issues from the antibiotics so went off them on Tuesday.

Week 9 I had a post op visit on Tuesday and everything looks good, healing well. They kind of look like Barbie boobs, only smaller lol. However, I'm disappointed in the size. I was originally a C and am now a B. My PS said he put in the largest size he felt comfortable with because my skin was tight. However, he said as my breasts settle they will stretch some more and I can come back for a larger replacement if I want. He said it's a simple 45 minute surgery to swap the implants, so I will probably do it. I am also considering nipple rebuilding, which he also does. It's a 15 min surgery that you can drive yourself home from. Then tattoo for the finish. He showed me a picture of one of his patients, and they look like real nipples. I have to admit, the decision whether to remove the nipples or not was a hard one. One I made on the table on the way to surgery. But I do not regret it, because it's really easier for my PS to work with a clean slate and I was able to reduce my cancer re-occurrence to 1%.

Today I am 10 weeks post original surgery and feel pretty good. Starting to get some energy back, no pain or discomfort at all. So it was a total of 10 weeks for this entire process, and I was very lucky to have no complications.

Dx 9/1/2016, DCIS/IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+, HER2+ Surgery 9/30/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 11/1/2016 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 5/1/2017 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right Surgery 1/3/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Jan 13, 2019 12:21PM - edited Jan 13, 2019 12:22PM by CENOK2017

Hi All,

I have had chemo, right MX and then radiation. I am very interested in those of you who have had radiation and then tissue expander with implant. Did any of you have complications due to the radiation beforehand? I know some on here had rads and then TE and implants but there are so many posts I cannot find too many of you.


Also, did any of you have breast reduction on non cancerous breast and TE with implant on cancerous side? Your thoughts on this


Thanks for any advice.


I go to Stephenson Cancer Center in Oklahoma City, OK.


Carol

Dx 1/2/2018, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy Radiation Therapy

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